The Carrboro Weave

What is going to happen next with the Carrboro store? It is due for a major refurbishment, now that all of the food production workers have moved to Hillsborough. Will owners and workers be consulted properly about what happens to their store?

I want to be fair to the senior management of The Weave. Some of us feel that they and the Board do not listen or respond to our concerns as much as they could. We say they do not consult enough. And that they do not communicate well enough.

Well, it was explained to us at the August Board meeting that the Food House (and the move of food productions workers from the Carrboro store) was itself a response to worker, consumer and owner concerns.

For ten years, we were told, senior management had heard that food production workers were fed up with their cramped conditions in Carrboro, and that customers and owners wanted better quality and more variety of locally-sourced foods.

The Food House was the response of senior management to those concerns.

Well. So far, so good. But isn’t that when things went a little off the rails? At that point, senior management could have paused, taken breath, and fully consulted owners and workers on the scope of the changes, their details, their consequences, and whether or not workers and owners were prepared to pay the price for the changes.

Instead, we were not asked. Not properly. A couple of presentations and a slide-show don’t really add up to democratic consultation in a co-operative, do they?

If we had been a proper part of a truly democratic decision-making process, we would now, all of us, worker and owner alike, be invested in ownership of the big changes; there would be much less complaining about the consequences; and we would all be a lot better placed to ease the process of implementing the changes.

I think it’s fair to say that. Don’t you?

Now we are told that senior management have learned from the mistakes that were made. Well that is certainly encouraging to hear. And they have an excellent chance to prove it. They can ensure that workers and owners are properly, fully and democratically consulted over the upcoming refurbishment of the Carrboro store.

And maybe they can make a start by telling all of the Carrboro workers how that consultation will proceed, at the Carrboro ‘Employee Meeting by Unit’ (EMU) this coming Monday evening?
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Published in: on August 21, 2008 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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